What originally began as Armistice Day, on November 11, 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson, was officially changed by law to Veterans Day by President Dwight Eisenhower and Congress in 1954. Our nation has honored the service of all her veterans—past and current—on this day ever since.
“The Lord goes forth like a soldier, like a warrior he stirs up his fury; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes.”—Isaiah 42:13
In 1945, World War II veteran, Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Weeks led a delegation to General Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of a national Veterans Day. Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947 in Alabama and annually until his death in 1985. President Reagan honored Weeks at the White House with the Presidential Citizenship Medal in 1982 as the driving force for the national holiday. Elizabeth Dole, who prepared the briefing for President Reagan, determined Weeks as the “Father of Veterans Day.”
It is estimated that there are approximately 23 million living veterans and approximately 1.5 million in current service to our nation spread over 150 countries. Today, if you are current military, you are a part of a vast portion of our population, as well as our rich history. All are grateful for your sacrifice and service to our country.
If you are a veteran or a surviving family member, all Americans are grateful for your service and salute you today. May God bless and protect all of the United States’ veterans and current military today and every day.
ALMIGHTY GOD, thank You for all those who have served, and are serving, faithfully in our military. For those who are on the front lines today, comfort and protect each one and their families.